Week 11 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Prospecting For Gold

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Bradenton FL USA Pittsburg Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole 75 works out during camp at McKechnie Field Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports

June is usually the month we see top prospects start to invade the league, typically because the team was waiting until the middle of June to delay their arbitration eligibility by a year. As if the league wasn’t rife with overhyped rookies already. These guys make for great fantasy adds because their name recognition is still low but the potential rewards could be very high. Another positive about three guys on this list is that the Marlins have some pretty decent players but fantasy owners are dismissing them due to a lack of wins and ability to drive in runs/be driven in. The Marlins may be bad but they still have some very good looking young fantasy producers that are definitely worth taking a shot on. Prey on other people’s lack of knowledge and biases and you will (almost) always win. Let’s take a look at some prospects who are going to be big parts of their rosters the rest of the way.

Gerrit Cole (Owned in 42% of Yahoo Leagues): Cole was the first-overall pick of the 2011 amateur draft and the seventh-best prospect coming into 2013. He’s only pitched 38 games in Triple-A but has looked as impressive as promised, owning a 14-10 record with a 2.84 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 8.2 K/9. He’s only 22-years-old but has the seasoned approach of a vet, I’d jump on him.

Tony Cingrani (47%): He’s a top 100 prospect who is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 41 K/9 BB in 33 IP this season. Over 44 minor league games, Cingrani is 16-6 with a miniscule 1.65 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 11.8 WHIP. His only problem has been seven homers given up over 33 IP, and that’s a number that logically has to come down, so he should not just continue to do well but do even better. This guy should be owned universally.

Anthony Rendon (18%): Rendon is the 30th top prospect in the country and now has second base eligibility which makes him even more valuable. He’s done okay in his first 41 at-bats, putting up a .293/.383/.390 line with four RBI, four runs, and four doubles. He hasn’t played much in the Majors but has shown some pop this season, hitting six homers and driving in 24. I would take a speculative add on him for sure, anyone can use a second baseman with pop.

Jacob Turner (9%): Turner was ranked the 15th top prospect in 2012 and has looked great through his first two starts in 2013, owning a 0.69 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, and as a member of the Marlins rotation he won’t get you wins, but he can definitely help your ERA and WHIP if he continues to translate well into the Majors.

Zack Wheeler (29%): Wheeler is the eighth-best prospect in the country and owns a career 3.59 ERA and 9.6 K/9 over 385 IP in the minors. He hasn’t done as well this season (4-1, 4.14 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) as he did last season (12-8, 3.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) but has Major League stuff if he can just keep his walks down. I would definitely take a shot on him immediately in deeper leagues, maybe see how he does in his first start or two before picking him up in shallow formats.

Marcell Ozuna (24%): Ozuna may not be a top 100 prospect but he’s playing like a star on the worst team in the league. His power has yet to translate to the big league level but he owns a .331/.371/.472 line over 36 games with one homer, 17 RBI, 18 R, 13 2B, two 3B, and three steals. He’s a four category player right now with the tools to be a five-category producer, I don’t see why he’s still available in 75% of leagues.

David Phelps (20%): Like Ozuna, Phelps doesn’t come from the elite top 100 prospect club but after going 40-15 with a 2.51 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 7.6 K/9 in the minors, Phelps looks like a solid big league producer as well. Since moving into the rotation, Phelps is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 41 K/19 BB in 45 IP. He’s struggled to stay consistent enough to be a star but it averages out to a very good player and definitely one you should consider adding to your fantasy rotation.

Logan Morrison (6%): Morrison, a former top prospect (just to keep the theme alive), finally made his season debut this week and it’s tough not to be tempted by a guy who put up 23 HR and 72 RBI in 123 games just a season ago. I’m not sold on him, especially after he batted .230 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 93 games last season but he’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.